The state of Wisconsin follows the rules and guidelines established by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act when pertaining to minimum wage, child labor laws, and overtime pay. Put into law in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act has been the guiding force in employment law throughout the United States, with most amendments dealing with the raise in the minimum wage. In 2007, the law was amended again, to allow states to create their own minimum wage as long as it is at least equivalent to the federal mandate.
The minimum wage in Wisconsin follows the national standard of $7.25. Exceptions to this rule come in the form of wage exemptions for disabled and tipped employees. A sub-minimum wage is available for legally disabled workers. This wage will vary based upon the ability of the disabled individual. For workers who are employed in a job where tips are available, the minimum wage can vary based upon tips collected per month.
Wisconsin does not allow children under the age of 12 to work. Children ages 12 to 17 can work after receiving a work permit. No child under the age of 18 may work in an establishment where liquor is sold.
A workweek in Wisconsin is considered 40 hours per seven days, as laid out in the Fair Labor Standards Act. If an employee works beyond those 40 hours, he is entitled to overtime pay. The starting wage for overtime is time and a half, though it may be more if the employer sees fit. Wisconsin exempts professional employees, commissioned workers, taxi drivers, mechanics, and teaching apprentices from the overtime laws.
Benefits are not required in the Fair Labor Standards Act. If an employer provides benefits such as sick leave or vacation pay, they must put the rules in writing for all employees to see. Information regarding these benefits should be posted in an area that all workers can access, such as a break room.
The Fair Labor Standards Act has a strict guideline regarding record keeping by employers. All employees’ wages, withholdings, hours worked and pay increases must be carefully recorded. These same records must be readily available for employees and regional authorities to review if needed.